Chapter 10 – Family & Friends

“Playing the Cards Life has Dealt”

My family is great.  I love them so much.  I have had a hard time letting my family into the true side of things.  I know they have their own range of emotions about me having CF and how it makes them feel.  I know they are scared about it all in their own way.  The bottom line is CF and all that goes along with it sucks.  When I was younger I was more vocal about how it sucks just for the simple fact that I was a rebellious teenager.  The older I got the more I have tried to “hide” the reality of it all from people.  I would like to write to my family now:

Mom and Dad,

I am thankful for you guys every day.  I thank you for letting me live my life as “normal” as possible while growing up.  I don’t have regrets of things I didn’t or wasn’t able to do because of CF.  I know it was and is hard to see me go through all of this stuff every day.  You both have said that you would take it if you could and I have told you no, you would give it right back but I know you would take it if you could.  People have asked if I am angry about having CF.  Of course I don’t like it but I am thankful that I am still alive to have them ask the question.  Thank you for taking care of me.  We are in this together and I think I am entitled to my vacation day now…hehehe.

To my brother,

Oh big brother.  You are a great big brother.  You beat me up and I fought back which made me able to hang with the boys.  I don’t know how it was growing up with a sister with CF but I know how it was growing up with a brother who didn’t.  I know that you got away with a lot…hehe.  I’m sure you felt like I got the attention because of being sick but let me tell you I sure didn’t want the attention.  I love you with all my heart.  I know you would do anything for me as I would for you, lung willing that is.  I know that we had our lovely brother and sister moments and they make for great stories that the kids don’t believe.  Hang in there and keep being my big bro that I need.

To MY sister,

I love my sister that God gave me.  It was a major shock going from best friends to sisters almost overnight but we made it through and we survived.  I love you so much and I am very thankful for you.  We definitely had our ups and downs over the great teenager years but I am very glad that we love one another more now than we ever have.  I don’t know how it is to be on the other side of this whole CF thing but just know that it is just as scary for me.  Thank you for being you!

The love of my life,

Where oh where to start?  I am so lucky to have you in my life.  You light up my life, cheesy I know but oh well.  You are so great.  I am so thankful for you and all you do for me.  It is nice to be with someone who I trust enough to let you see the good, bad and the ugly.  I am so thankful for the kids.  They are great and I am blessed to be their bonus mom.  I love that you love me.  I could really keep talking about how great you are but who wants to hear that…ME!  I know we have a lot in store for our future and I can’t wait to live it!  I love you soooo much!!

To the best bonus kids ever,

You guys are the best bonus kids ever!  You guys help me to keep a smile on my face.  I know it is hard having two houses to live at and divorced parents but I am glad that I am in your life to hopefully help make it easier on you guys.  You guys will grow up to do great things.  I know me having CF might be scary but just know that you can talk about it anytime you want.  You guys defiantly help me to try my best to be healthy.  I love you guys so much!

Friends,

Thank you for being there for me over all these years.  Thank you for the laughs.  Thank you for letting me be “normal.”  I’m sure being my friend can be scary at times but you have endured and I thank you for that.  I will not give up so please don’t give up on me.

With lots of love,

Shannon

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